Learn the history of Caledonia. Preserve the history of Caledonia. Share the history of Caledonia. The Caledonia Historical Society (CHS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing materials and information relating to the history of Caledonia. The CHS promotes the understanding of the history through the buildings located in the Caledonia Historical Village(CHV)and the artifacts contained within them.
NO ACTIVITIES SCHEDULED AT THE CALEDONIA HISTORICAL VILLAGE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
All CHS activities are suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 virus. There will not be an open house at the Caledonia Historical Village this month or for the foreseeable future. The 2020 Fall Heritage Festival normally held the second weekend of September has also been cancelled.
The grounds of the CHV are open from dawn to dusk, but the buildings will not be open. Please observe safe distance practices while enjoying the CHV environs. The CHS is a 501(c)3 non-profit and donations are welcome. There is a donation box on the east side of the 1902 Depot.
WHERE DID THOSE CREAM CITY BRICKS COME FROM?
The heavy clay soil of the southeastern portion of Caledonia was a curse to the farmers of the region, but it was a boon for George Erskine who lived in the Wind Point area in the 1870s. The nature of the soil, just inland from the shore of Lake Michigan, provided Erskine with the raw materials needed to make excellent bricks. Later in the century Adolph and William Hilker would purchase the Erskine property which included the brick factory. The brothers used a large, cream-colored stain of the clay to make bricks there for many years.
Towards the end of the 19th century many of Caledonia’s and Racine’s public buildings were being remodeled or rebuilt in brick. The Wind Point clay was excellent raw material for the production of large quantities of bricks, most with he distinctive yellowish cast that became known as “Racine” or “Cream City” brick.
The information provided here was taken from the book, “Journey to a Village, Caledonia 1835-2008.”